Goals for Respecting Human Rights
- [ ] Scope of KPI
- Meiji G: the Meiji Group (consolidated)
|FYE 3/2022||FYE 3/2023||FYE 3/2024|
|All domestic Meiji Group employees to attend a human rights training (including e-learning) at least once annually
[Meiji G, Japan consolidated]
|Implemented one time
(Enrolled participants: Approx. 13,000
Participation rate: 90%)
|Implemented one time
(Enrolled participants: Approx. 13,000
Participation rate: 92%)
|At least once annually|
|All overseas Meiji Group employees to attend a human rights training (including e-learning) at least once by FYE 3/2024
[Meiji G consolidated excluding Japan]
|Enrolled participants: Approx. 770
Participation rate: 99%
|Enrolled participants: Approx. 2,200
Participation rate: 84%
|At least once by FYE 3/2024|
Respect and Promote Human Rights
Meiji Group’s Basic Approaches to Human Rights
Meiji Group has declared respect for human rights in its Corporate Behavior Charter, and it manages its businesses based on the strong belief that all people are inherently free and deserve equal respect and rights. We will promote respect for human rights throughout the Group and fulfill the Group’s obligations.
Meiji Group Human Rights Policy
Based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Meiji Group supports and respects international standards on human rights, such as the International Bill on Human Rights, ILO's core labour standards, and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
In the pharmaceutical business, we will respect the ethical principles of the Helsinki Declaration and the guidelines of the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceutical for Human Use (ICH).
We will also respect the Children’s Rights and Business Principles of UNICEF, especially with regard to children, who have strong ties to the food business.
In 2020, we established the Meiji Group Marketing Communication to Children Policy, which outlines our considerations for children in marketing related to confectionery and ice cream.
In FY 2022, we are planning an activity to deepen our internal understanding of children's rights.
System for Promoting Respect for Human Rights
In the Meiji Group, the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), who is a member of Meiji Holdings' Board of Directors, is tasked by the President of Meiji Holdings to be responsible for and execute measures related to human rights. Under the supervision of the CSO, Meiji Holdings' Sustainability Management Department leads execution of each of these measures as the main organization responsible for sustainability.
The Meiji Holdings Executive Committee has assembled the Group Sustainability Committee, with the aim of unifying all of Meiji Group's various sustainability-related activities, including those concerning human rights. In July 2019, we established the Group Human Rights Meeting, whose members consist of relevant departments and outside experts, and initiated human rights due diligence activities. Meiji Holdings' Sustainability Management Department, the main department responsible for sustainability, serves as the Meeting's secretariat. The Group Human Rights Meeting has in turn set up sub-committees, each with its own individual area of responsibility. As well as this, they are investigating human rights-related issues, creating action plans for various initiatives, and taking necessary preventive measures. The Board of Directors at Meiji Holdings receives regular reports on these activities and supervises the effectiveness of activity processes and measures.
In addition, the Meiji Group has appointed Meiji Brand Promotion Officer and Meiji Brand Promotion Leader at each workplace to spread knowledge and understanding of brand promotion and sustainability. Approximately 840 Meiji Brand Promotion Leaders promote awareness of sustainability issues, including human rights, in their respective workplaces.
Approximately 290 Meiji Brand Promotion Officers supervise Meiji Brand Promotion Leaders.
Meiji Holdings Sustainability Management Department regularly holds online forums and seminars for Meiji Brand Promotion Officers and Leaders to enhance understanding of sustainability activities, including human rights.
Implementing Human Rights Due Diligence
We started human rights due diligence in FY2019 and it forms our commitment to human rights based on the Meiji Group Human Rights Policy. We make constant efforts to communicate with external stakeholders by: assessing the impact on human rights caused by the Meiji Group’s corporate activities and identifying issues; incorporating these evaluation results into procedures and implementing them for meaningful improvements; follow-up evaluations to review effectiveness; and timely and appropriate information disclosure. By continuous improvement through these processes, we will achieve both respect for human rights and sustainable growth of businesses.
Identifying Salient Human Rights Risks
In FY2022, we reviewed and updated salient human rights issues identified in FY 2019. We identify human rights risks throughout the value chain in each of the food and pharmaceutical business domains, and include objective perspectives from outside experts to identify salient human rights issues for the Meiji Group.
Identified salient human rights issues
|Salient human rights issues||Potentially affected stakeholders|
|Discrimination and harassment||Employees, suppliers, customers, community residents, etc.|
|Gender equality||Employees, suppliers, customers, community residents, etc.|
|Child labor||Employees of the company and its suppliers|
|Forced labor and human trafficking||Employees of the company and its suppliers|
|Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining||Employees of the company and its suppliers|
|Fair working conditions and wages||Employees of the company and its suppliers|
|Occupational health and safety||Employees of the company and its suppliers|
|Working hours||Employees of the company and its suppliers|
|Rights of foreign workers||Employees of the company and its suppliers|
|Healthy lifestyle for local residents, access to water||community residents|
|Impact of advertising and marketing on children||Customers and consumers|
|Customer and user health||Customers and consumers|
|Access to information||Donors of human-derived raw materials|
|Privacy rights||Employees, clinical trial subjects, customers, etc.|
Initiatives for risk assessment, mitigation, and remedy
The main initiatives implemented in FY2022 to mitigate and remediate human rights risks are as follows.
|Item||Risk overview and mitigation/correction measures|
|1. Improve the working environment for foreign workers||
|2. Supply chain risk reduction||
|3. Raise employees' awareness of human rights||
|4. Introduction of a multilingual grievance system||
Initiatives to Reduce Human Rights Risks for Foreign Workers
In February 2020, we conducted a survey on the presence of foreign workers at domestic direct-affiliated plant and laboratories of Meiji Co., Ltd. and Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., and confirmed that there were no issues with respect to employment contracts or labor management for foreign workers who are directly employed. In FY 2021, we conducted interviews with labor managers and site managers at 14 business sites (8 plants and 6 group companies of Meiji Co., Ltd.) in which foreigners work, and confirmed the operation status of employment contracts and labor management.
As a result, it was confirmed that there were no major problems with labor management, such as employment contract, confirmation of status of residence, and managing working hours.
|Interviewed period||Interviewed sites||Person interviewed||Methods|
|FY 2021||6 group companies||7 labor managers in total||Online interview|
|6 on-site managers in total|
|8 plants||8 labor managers in total||Online interview|
|8 on-site managers in total|
On the other hand, we found issues such as differences in the methods and attitudes of each business site regarding the employment of foreign workers and labor management, and inadequate support for foreign language labeling in the workplace. To this end, we compiled the Guidelines for Employment of Foreign Workers in June 2022, summarizing points that need special attention when employing foreign workers throughout the Meiji Group.
In addition, we distributed the guidelines within the group and to our subcontractors, and held briefing sessions, requesting that the guidelines be thoroughly implemented.
Aiming to create a work environment that meets international standards that enables foreign workers to work soundly and with a sense of security, we will work to promote the implementation of the guidelines, including cooperating companies, in addition to our own plant and business sites.
<Items to be included in the guidelines for the employment of foreign workers>
1. Matters to be confirmed concerning foreign workers
2. Points to be noted when applying from foreign workers
3. Use of brokers
4. Intermediary fees and other related expenses
5. Working regulations
6. Working conditions and employment contracts
7. Prohibition of forced labor
8. Wages and working hours
9. Provision of housing such as dormitories
10. Consultation Desk and Complaint Processing System, Section
11. Occupational Health and Safety
12. Medical checkups
14. Assistance for termination of contract, dismissal, and re-employment
15. Communicating with cooperating companies and dispatching companies
Responding to Human Rights Related Laws and Regulations in Each Country and Region
In expanding our business globally, Meiji Group will comply with the laws and regulations regarding the working environment and human rights established in each country, and will act in good faith in all business activities.
UK Modern Slavery Act 2015
- Meiji Group Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement
Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018
- Modern Slavery Act Statement
California Transparency in Supply Chain Act
- California Transparency in Supply Chains Act Statement
Group Employee Training
We engage in education and training activities related to respect for human rights and prohibition of discrimination, prohibition of forced and child labor, prohibition of harassment, safe and healthy workplaces, respect for fundamental rights of employees, and more, based on the Meiji Group Policy on Human Rights.
In FY2022, Human Rights education program was provided for all employees in Japan (approximately 13,000 employees, 92% participation rate) and employees in Thailand, Singapore India and Spain (approximately 2,200 employees, 84% participation rate). In the education program, we explain the Meiji Group Human Rights Policy and explain human rights issues related to day-to-day operations, such as child labor and the human rights of foreign workers, in an effort to raise employee awareness of human rights and reduce risks.
Education on harassment
We conduct e-learning on harassment, which is one of the human rights issues in the workplace, for all employees. We explain the diversifying examples of modern harassment and the policy on harassment in our group to raise employee awareness of harassment. For managers, in addition to providing education through specific examples, we also provide education on how to respond to harassment consultations, and promote initiatives to prevent harassment.
Training for Hiring Personnel
In Japan, we provide training on fair recruitment and selection to hiring personnel at our offices nationwide, and ensure compliance with prohibitions on discrimination in employment and harassment, and with respect for the fundamental human rights of applicants. In addition to respecting people's ability to work of their own free will, we also strive to prevent forced labor through clear advance presentation of working conditions (including work content, hours, rest periods, vacations, holidays, wages, salary increases, and provisions on retirement, etc.) and conclude of employment contracts. We also take action to ensure that all employees meet statutory minimum age requirements at the time of hiring in order to prevent child labor.